Review For ‘Mandy,’ Now Streaming On Shudder [Opinion]

Nicolas Cage forges a battle axe and takes on 'crazy evil' in 'Mandy.'

Nicolas Cage attends a special screening of 'Mandy' in Los Angeles, California in September of 2018.
David Livingston / Getty Images

Nicolas Cage forges a battle axe and takes on 'crazy evil' in 'Mandy.'

Horror streaming network, Shudder, continues adding to its growing list of exclusive and original content with Mandy, the psychedelic horror movie starring Nicolas Cage and directed by Panos Cosmatos. As previously reported right here at the Inquisitr, Shudder obtained exclusive streaming rights for Mandy last October.

Last night the AMC-owned horror platform released Mandy to its audiences — and the movie definitely lives up to the hype.

Red Miller (Nicolas Cage) lives in a remote cabin with his girlfriend, Mandy Bloom (Andrea Riseborough), leading a simple life and taking comfort in the company of one-another, seemingly needing little else to satisfy. Their simple life goes terribly off course when Mandy is walking about the woods and is spotted by a cult calling themselves the “Children of the New Dawn.” Their leader, Jeremiah (Linus Roache), attempts to recruit Mandy as a member, but is unsuccessful when she laughs in his face.

As penance for her mocking laughter, Jeremiah forces Red to watch Mandy be burned alive, leaving him behind with his sorrow.

Red’s sorrow turns to rage in rapid fashion. He consults with a nearby friend (Bill Duke) on how to hunt down and kill the people responsible for the brutal death of his girlfriend. Armed with a bone-piercing crossbow and a shiny steel battle-axe which he forged himself, Red takes on a group of bikers reminiscent of the Cenobites in Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, before finally facing off against the Children of the New Dawn.

Cage delivers a ruthless performance that is sympathetic to the viewer, despite the grisly violence he delivers. Panos Cosmatos’ style is well-punctuated in a hallucinatory fever-dream that feels like it could have actually been made by someone using psychedelic drugs.

When Red finally faces off against Jeremiah in the end, we see the narcissistic cult-leader reduced to a pleading wimp who will do anything to escape having his head crushed by the bare hands of Nicolas Cage. Unfortunately for Jeremiah, none of his offerings for retribution suffice, and he is thusly disposed of.

One of the highlights of the film is seeing Nicolas Cage go from woebegone, to raging, to total despair, back to rage again. One notable scene where this takes place is shot in his bathroom, where the full panoply of emotions are acted out by Cage, all while pounding a large bottle of liquor. Cage hasn’t delivered an acting performance this intense since Leaving Las Vegas in 1995.

While Mandy is unlikely to earn Cage another Academy Award in 2019, it stands as a fantastic return for the actor — and another solid edition to Shudder’s ever-expanding library of exclusive and original content. Horror fans, action buffs, and indie-film aficionados alike can enjoy Mandy on Shudder right now.